Close  

Etheridge on target for Azkals return

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 05:30 AM October 03, 2019

Neil Etheridge. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is expected to make his return to the Philippine Azkals for the joint Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifying clash with powerhouse China on Oct. 15 at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

Having recovered from a hamstring injury, the Cardiff City stopper will be back to man the posts for a Philippine side that currently sits third at the table after splitting its first two matches last month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Aside from Etheridge, Azkals manager Dan Palami said 21-year-old defender Elias Mordal has also been given clearance to play for the team. Palami said they have also started processing the clearance of Michael Kempter to be eligible for the next window in November when the Azkals will have tricky away tests against Syria and the Maldives.

Adopted by Norwegian parents, Mordal, who already joined the Azkals’ camp in China in June, traces his roots to Cebu. His case follows a similar path of former Azkals defender Simone Rota, who was also adopted by Italian parents, but played for the Philippines until 2018.

FEATURED STORIES

“He (Mordal) definitely gives us added options in defense,” Palami said of Mordal, who plays for Norwegian side Brattvag.

Top guns

Meanwhile, China coach Marcello Lippi is bringing in his top guns for the duel against the Azkals, whom they have already defeated three times in the last three years. China will also face Guam in Guangzhou on Oct. 10, before flying to Bacolod.

Naturalized striker Elkeson, the first player without Chinese ancestry to suit up for the Asian heavyweight, has been named by Lippi to his squad that will be led by Espanyol winger Wu Lei.

Now named Ai Kesen, Elkesen, who qualified for naturalization by residency, scored twice in his debut in the 5-0 win over the Maldives last month in Male.

Wu, who scored twice against the Azkals in the Asian Cup, links up with his national team on the back of a packed schedule that includes club matches against CSKA Moscow in Europa League on Oct. 4 and Real Mallorca in La Liga on Oct. 6.

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: AFC Asian Cup Qualifying clash, Fifa World Cup, Football, Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Philippine Azkals
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.